Justices Reject Suit on Federal Money for Faith-Based Office

June 26, 2007


Source: The New York Times


WASHINGTON, June 25 — The Supreme Court on Monday closed the courthouse door on a lawsuit challenging the Bush administration’s use of taxpayer money to support its Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

By a vote of 5 to 4, the court ruled that taxpayers could not sue to block federal expenditures that they allege violate the constitutional separation of church and state.

For 39 years, the court has recognized an exception to a general rule that taxpayers do not have standing to sue to stop government expenditures with which they disagree. That exception, created in the 1968 case of Flast v. Cohen, allowed taxpayers to challenge spending on programs that they believed promoted religion. But yesterday’s decision said that precedent did not apply in this case.